Dr. Greger whips up some matcha ice cream inspired by a recipe in his How Not to Die Cookbook.
This is: Dr. Greger in the Kitchen, where I take the science, and put it into practice. Today, I’m going to share with you my new favorite dessert: matcha ice cream.
Matcha is powdered green tea leaves. What’s so great about green tea? Its consumption is associated with lower rates of heart attacks, strokes, and premature death, proven in randomized, controlled trials to prevent precancerous colon polyps from developing, and precancerous prostate lesions from turning into full-blown cancer, and so anti-viral there’s an FDA-approved green tea compound ointment used to reverse warts caused by the HPV virus. That’s why, in my Daily Dozen checklist, it is one of the healthiest beverages, along with water and hibiscus tea.
Matcha is probably the healthiest way to drink green tea, since you’re drinking it as a whole food—whereas normally, you just make a hot water-green tea extract, and throw away the leaves. That’s like boiling some collard greens, and throwing away the greens, and just drinking the cooking water! Think what proportion of nutrition you’d be throwing away. The same thing, with tea leaves. Matcha allows you to drink tea whole.
That way, you’ll get all the nutrition, but also all of the potential contaminants. You know, China was late on the ban on leaded gasoline, resulting in higher-than-average lead levels in the soil on Chinese tea plantations. It gets taken up by the plant, but does not tend to leach out into the water when you just make tea the regular way. But if you eat the tea, like matcha, or if you throw tea leaves in a smoothie or something, I would recommend making sure your tea is sourced from Japan, rather than China. I have a video about the tolerable upper daily dose for kids, pregnant women, and other adults, depending on brewing method and source country.
Alright, now this stuff I have here is from Japan, so that’s not a problem. The problem, however, with any matcha tea is the taste. Matcha has a strong grassy, earthy, mossy flavor. So, I figured, why not put it into ice cream? It could be the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. Of course, traditional ice cream has way more than a spoonful of sugar—not to mention the saturated butterfat. And, the dairy proteins can actually interfere with some of the beneficial effects of the green tea compounds. So, how about making a healthy matcha ice cream comprised entirely of whole foods—just two whole foods, to be exact.
Take two frozen super-ripe bananas, and put them in a food processor or blender alongside with a half-teaspoon of the matcha tea—now, more if you can stand it, but it’s pretty strong stuff, so why don’t we start there. And, blend it up.
Blended frozen bananas take on this perfect, rich, creamy ice cream texture. Now, the more, the riper, the better. You want lots of little brown spots on there. Look at that beautiful green color here. Alright, I’m going to add a little, maybe a little mint garnish here.
The matcha actually makes the blended bananas taste better somehow. So, we’re talking just two whole plant foods—one a dark green leafy. Makes a gourmet decadent-tasting dessert. The more you eat, the healthier you are. That’s the way desserts should be.
If you want more recipes like this, incorporating some of the healthiest foods on the planet, check out my new cookbook, the How Not to Die Cookbook, now available for pre-order. (I think the ice cream recipe in the book actually uses strawberries, almond butter, and vanilla extract instead of the matcha, but delicious either way).
The cookbook will be out this December, right in time for the holidays; makes a great New Year/new you kind of gift. All the proceeds I receive from the sales of my books, DVDs, speaking engagements all goes to charity. I just want you, to be healthier.